Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Did the Jews believe or didn’t they?

Addressing more of Zaatari’s blatant distortions and bluster

Sam Shamoun

Sami Zaatari wrote a "reply" (*) to my thorough refutation (1, 2, 3) of his article concerning what the earliest followers of Jesus thought of him (*). Lord willing, I will provide a complete refutation to his latest (and quite unsuccessful I might add) attempt of replying to my articles. But for now I do want to address the blatant distortion of my actual position concerning what the Jews in the first-century AD believed regarding God’s nature.

After stating that Jesus couldn’t just simply come out and say that he is God in those exact words without first qualifying what he meant, since to first-century Jews the term "God" would have meant the Father in heaven, Zaatari makes the following rather astonishing assertion:

I would like to thank Shamoun for his sincerity, and his honesty. It takes a lot of courage to admit that the Jews who held the OT did not believe in the Trinity, nor did they believe that God was going to become a man, nor did they believe that the Messiah would be that God man. It takes A LOT TO ADMIT THIS and Shamoun must be applauded.

As Shamoun rightly pointed out, the Jews thought God was simply the Father, hence no Trinity, if the OT taught a Trinity then why would it be hard for Jews to grasp about God the Son and God the Father?

He then anticipates that I will quote OT passages to prove that the Hebrew prophets spoke and were aware of God’s Triunity or that God would become a man in the Person of the Messiah, yet still wonders why the Jews would be confused if Jesus claimed to be God if their Scriptures taught all these truths. He takes this potential misunderstanding as evidence that the Jews had no idea of a Trinity or a God-man Messiah.

Zaatari just never learns and is constantly demonstrating that he has absolutely no problem distorting the statements of his opponents. He is more interested in saving face then admitting his errors, or that he simply does not understand the issues and that he is dealing with subjects that are beyond his intellectual capacity to address.

Lest we be accused of exaggeration we encourage the readers to go to the following links and read the articles as well as Zaatari’s comments in the commentary box in order to see how he will either resort to lying, distort an argument, or avoid addressing the points in order to hide the fact that he doesn’t have the ability to provide a coherent reply to the objections leveled against him (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7).

With that said, it seems that I need explain my point more thoroughly so as to prevent Zaatari from attacking a straw man and perverting my position (not that I expect that he will refrain from doing so since he has shown that he simply has no regard for truth or honesty).

As the readers can attest, my position has been and continues to be that the OT bears witness to the fact that there is a plurality of Divine Persons within the one Godhead. I have written extensively concerning the OT evidence that Yahweh is a spiritual Father, that the Holy Spirit is a fully Divine Person, and that there is one specific Messenger – commonly referred to as the Angel of God/Yahweh – who is not a creature but is actually God Almighty who appears to his servants and people. I have further documented that these Three are personally distinct from one another even though all of them are fully God. Here are some of the articles which document all of these points (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14).

However, even though this is what the Hebrew Bible clearly teaches, the fact remains that when the term God is used in an unqualified sense it always refers to the Father, just as the book of Hebrews implies:

"In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high," Hebrews 1:1-3

The statement that in these last days God has spoken to his people by his Son shows that the inspired author has the Father in view here. Thus, when the inspired OT writers wanted to make sure that their readers knew that the specific Person who was appearing and speaking as God was someone other than the Father, they would have to state this in some manner or fashion. To illustrate what we mean note the following example:

"In the mating season of the flock I lifted up my eyes, and saw in a dream that the he-goats which leaped upon the flock were striped, spotted, and mottled. Then the Angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob,’ and I said, ‘Here I am!’ And he said, ‘Lift up your eyes and see, all the goats that leap upon the flock are striped, spotted, and mottled; for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you. I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and made a vow to me. Now arise, go forth from this land, and return to the land of your birth.’" Genesis 31:10-13

We know that it was not the Father who was informing Jacob that he is the God of the house of God, i.e., Bethel, since the text plainly tells us that it was the Angel of God who was speaking to the patriarch. Here is a further example:

"Now these are the last words of David: The oracle of David, the son of Jesse, the oracle of the man who was raised on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, the sweet psalmist of Israel: ‘The Spirit of the LORD speaks by me, his word is upon my tongue. The God of Israel has spoken, the Rock of Israel has said to me: When one rules justly over men, ruling in the fear of God," 2 Samuel 23:1-3

Again, we know that the God who is speaking here through David is not the Father since the text expressly says that it was the Holy Spirit who was speaking.

Therefore, since the OT itself bears witness that the term God refers to the Father, unless there is something in the context to suggest otherwise, this ends up actually substantiating my point. It proves that Jesus and his followers, along with the NT writers, had to communicate his Deity in such a way as to insure that neither their audience nor their readers would assume that Christ is the same Person as the Father (or even the Holy Spirit for that matter), since he is not.

In light of this, how could anyone reading my statements assume that I was denying that the Jews believed in the Trinity or that all of them thought that the Father alone is God? Is Zaatari that desperate to win an argument that he has to deliberately distort his opponent’s position? If Islam is really true and Zaatari’s points are logically sound why then does he need to even resort to twisting what his opponent’s say and write? Doesn’t truth stand out clearly from error? In fact, doesn’t Zaatari’s own religious scripture claim that truth vanquishes falsehood (cf. Q. 17:81)?

Should we therefore take Zaatari’s straw men arguments and deliberate perversion of my words as an indication that he doesn’t have the truth on his side, and that his religion is false because it cannot stand up to critical and logical examination?

Moreover, Zaatari keeps assuming that there was one standard Jewish position in the first century AD, and that most if not all of the Jews were unitarians. As anyone who has studied the scholarly literature on the subject knows full well, there were various competing Jewish beliefs in existence both before and during the time of Christ since Judaism was not a monolith.

In light of this, which Jews is Zaatari talking about? The Qumran community, the ones who produced the Dead Sea Scrolls, who expected two Messiahs to arrive on the scene, a royal and a priestly one with the latter having authority and precedence over the former, and who were also waiting for the prophet like Moses to come?

Or is he referring to the Jews that approached John the Baptist and who were expecting three eschatological figures to appear, namely, the Christ, Elijah, and the prophet like Moses? (cf. John 1:19-25)

Perhaps he has in mind the Jewish author(s) of the Psalms of Solomon who believed that the Messiah was a political figure that would destroy the Gentile kingdoms and bring the nations under the subjugation and rule of the Jews?

And what about the Jews who compiled the Talmud who thought that there was actually going to be two Messiahs, one called the Son of Joseph who would die in battle and the Messiah Son of David who would reign and vanquish the enemies of God’s people?

And which Jewish view of God does Zaatari want us to accept? The view that says that God’s Spirit is his very own Presence, his Shekhinah that fills the entire earth?

"Another Rabbinic concept to indicate the nearness of God and His direct influence on man is that of Ruach Hakodesh (the Holy Spirit). Sometimes it seems to be identical with the Shechinah as expressing the divine immanence in the world. For instance, it is related that after the destruction of the Temple, the Emperor Vespasian dispatched three shiploads of young Jews and Jewesses to brothels in Rome, but during the voyage they all threw themselves into the sea and were drowned, rather accept so degraded a fate. The story ends with the statement that on beholding the harrowing sight: ‘The Holy Spirit wept and said, "For these do I weep" (Lament. i. 16)’ (Lament. R. I. 45).

More often it is employed to describe the endowment of a person with special gifts. Prophecy, in the sense of the ability to interpret the will of God, is the effect of which the Holy Spirit is the cause. Its possession also endows one with foreknowledge." (Abraham Cohen, Everyman’s Talmud, [Schoken Books, New York], Chapter II. God And The Universe, II. Transcendence And Immanence, p. 45; bold emphasis ours)

Cohen goes on to explain what the Shekhinah is in Jewish thought:

"What, in Rabbinic teaching, is God’s relation to the world? Is He thought of as transcendent and far removed from His creatures, or is He considered as being near to, and in contact with, them? The true answer is to be found in a combination of both ideas. The Rabbis did not look upon the two conceptions as contradictory or mutually exclusive, but rather as complementary.

When they reflected upon the ineffable Majesty of the Creator, His absolute perfection and boundless might, they reverentially spoke of Him as a Being immeasurably removed from the limitations of the finite world. But they, at the same time, realized that such a transcendent God was of little use to the human being who was grappling with the problems of life and yearned for communion with a Helper and Comforter and Guide amidst his perplexities and struggles. They, accordingly, stressed the doctrine that God was immanent in the world, and was very near to all who call upon Him in sincerity.

We have seen that in the cosmology of the Talmud, the Deity is located in the seventh heaven. His habitation was therefore infinitely removed from earth

Much more prominent, however, in the Talmudic literature is the conception of God’s immanence in the world and His nearness to man. It follows as a corollary from the doctrine of His omnipresence… ‘On the other hand, the Holy One, blessed be He, appears to be afar off, but in reality there is nothing closer than He.’ … ‘However high He be above His world, let a man but enter a Synagogue, stand behind a pillar and pray in a whisper, and the Holy One, blessed be He, hearkens to hi prayer. Can there be a God nearer than this, Who is close to His creatures as the mouth is to the ear?’ (p. Ber. 13a)…

With the object of utilizing the doctrine of the immanence of God in the world, while avoiding the suggestion that He could be located in any spot, the Rabbis invented certain terms to express the Divine Presence without giving support to a belief in His corporeality. The most frequent of these terms IS SHECHINAH, which literally means ‘dwelling.’ It denotes the manifestation of God upon the stage of the world, although He abides in the far-away heaven. In the same way that the sun in the sky illumines with its rays every corner of the earth, so the Shechinah, the effulgence of God, may make its presence felt everywhere (Sanh. 39a)." (Cohen, pp. 40-42; bold and capital emphasis ours)

And:

"The Talmud offers this demonstration of divine omnipresence: ‘The messengers of God are unlike those of men. The messengers of men are obliged to return to those who sent them with the object of their mission; but God’s messengers return at the place wither they had been dispatched. It is written: "Canst thou send forth lightnings, that they may go and say unto thee, Here we are?" (Job xxxviii. 35). It is not stated "they returned" but "they go and say", i.e. wherever they go they are in the presence of God. Hence it is to be deduced that the Shechinah is in every place’ (Mech. to xii. I; 2a; B.B. 25a).

The question how God could be everywhere at the same time received various answers. The problem was elucidated by this analogy: ‘It may be likened to a cave situated by the seashore. The sea rages and the cave is filled with water, but the waters of the sea are not diminished. Similarly the Tent of Meeting was filled with the lustre of the Shechinah, which was not diminished in the Universe’ (Num. R. XII. 4)…

‘A heretic said to R. Gamaliel: "You Rabbis declare that wherever ten people assemble for worship the Shechinah abides amongst them; how many Shechinahs are there then?" He called the heretic’s servant and struck him with a ladle. "Why did you strike him?" he was asked, and he replied, "Because the sun is in the house of the infidel." "But the sun shines all over the world!" exclaimed the heretic; and the Rabbi retorted: "If the sun, which is only one out of a million myriads of God’s servants, can be in every part of the world, how much more so can the Shechinah radiate throughout the entire Universe!"’ (Sanh. 39a)." (Cohen, Chapter I. The Doctrine Of God, IV. Omnipresence, pp. 9-10)

Does Zaatari want us to embrace the Jewish position that says that the Spirit is a distinct Person from God who intercedes and prays to God?

"Interestingly, there are several references in the Rabbinic literature to the Holy Spirit speaking, announcing, crying out, rebuking, and even serving as the counsel for the defense. For example:

The Talmud (m. Sotah 9:6; b. Sotah 46a) states that when the elders performed the rite of the red heifer (Deut. 21:1-9), ‘They did not have to say, "And the blood shall be forgiven them" [Deut. 21:8], instead the Holy Spirit announces to them, "Whenever you do this, the blood shall be forgiven you."’

Commenting on Exodus 1:12, ‘But the more they [i.e., the Israelites] were oppressed [by the Egyptians], the more they multiplied and spread,’ the Talmud states (b. Pesahim 117a) that the Holy Spirit announced to them, ‘So will he [Israel] increase and spread out!’ This is explained by Rashi and other major Jewish commentators to mean that the Holy Spirit said to the Egyptians, ‘Just as you seek to oppress them more, the more so will they increase and spread out!’

In Pirke D’Rabbi Eliezer 31, as Ishmael (Abraham’s son) and Eliezar (his steward) argue about who will be Abraham’s heir—seeing that they are going together with Abraham to sacrifice Isaac to the Lord (Genesis 22)—the Holy Spirit answers them and says, ‘Neither this one nor this one will inherit.’

In a late midrash cited in Yalkut Reubeni (9d) to Genesis 1:26, after Ben Sira shared the secret, mystical teachings with his son Uzziah and his grandson Joseph, the Holy Spirit called out, ‘Who is it that revealed My secrets to mankind?’ Ben Sira replied, ‘I, Buzi, the son of Buzi.’ The Holy Spirit said to him, ‘Enough!’

Lamentations Rabbah 3:60, 9 relates that after the Roman emperor Hadrian indiscriminately executed two Jews, the Holy Spirit kept crying out, ‘You have seen O LORD, the wrong done to ME. Uphold MY cause! You have seen the depth of their vengeance, all their plots against ME’ (Lam. 3:59-60). This provides an example of the Spirit making intercession.

According to Leviticus Rabbah 6:1, the Holy Spirit is a defense counsel who speaks to Israel on behalf of the Lord and then speaks to the Lord on behalf of Israel. To Israel the Spirit says, ‘Do not testify against your neighbor without cause’ (Prov. 24:28), and to the Lord the Spirit says, ‘Do not say, "I’ll do him as he has done me"’ (Prov. 24:29).

"In all these citations, which can easily be multiplied (see, e.g., Genesis Rabbah 84:11; Song of Songs Rabbah 8:16; Lamentations Rabbah 1:48), there can be no question that we are dealing with a ‘who’ and not just a ‘what’, WITH A PERSONAL DIMENSION OF GOD and not just an impersonal power, WITH GOD HIMSELF and yet with a ‘separate’ entity who can mediate between God and man. And these citations closely parallel some of the New Testament descriptions of the Holy Spirit, although virtually all the Rabbinic texts cited were written many years later…" (Brown, Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus—Theological Objections [Baker Books; Grand Rapids MI, 2000], Volume Two, 3.5. The Holy Spirit is not the so-called Third Person of the Trinity, pp. 55-57; bold and capital emphasis mine)

Or does he want us to accept the views of the Jews who believed that there were two Divine Powers in heaven, God and another distinct figure that was equal to him? The leading scholar in this field of study, Alan F. Segal, notes that the rabbinic traditions indicate that their earliest so-called opponents, whom they deemed heretics, believed there were to Divine figures reigning in/from heaven:

"believed in two complimentary powers in heaven while only later could heretics be shown to believe in two opposing powers in heaven. The extra-rabbinic evidence allowed the conclusion that the traditions were earlier than the first century. Furthermore, in the literature, it was possible to define a number of dangerous scriptural interpretations central to the heresy and show how the rabbis countered them by bringing in other scriptural which unambiguously stated God’s unity. From this evidence it became clear that the basic heresy involved interpreting scripture to say that a principal angelic or hypostatic manifestation in heaven was equivalent to God. This heresy was combated by the rabbis with verses from Deuteronomy and Isaiah which emphasized God’s unity." (Segal, Two Powers in Heaven – Early Rabbinic Reports about Christianity and Gnosticism [Brill Academic Publishers, Inc., Boston – Leiden, 2002], Preface, p. x; underline emphasis ours)

Segal’s findings show that this belief in a second Divine Power in heaven alongside God is a view that was embraced by certain Jews even before the time of Christ:

"… It became clear that ‘two powers in heaven’ was A VERY EARLY CATEGORY OF HERESY, EARLIER THAN JESUS, if Philo is a trustworthy witness, and one of the basic categories by which the rabbis perceived the new phenomenon of Christianity. It was one of the central issues over which the two religions separated… (Ibid., p. ix; capital emphasis ours)

In fact, it was only at a later date, sometime during the second century AD, that the rabbis anathematized anyone holding this position since they saw it as a threat to their strict monotheistic beliefs, a belief which did not necessarily reflect biblical teaching, just as the Scriptures which the "heretics" quoted demonstrated.

And yet other Jews such as Philo obviously didn’t see any problem believing in a second Divine Power with their commitment to monotheism.

Segal also provides the list of OT verses which the "heretics" were using to support their case, and which the later rabbis had great difficulty addressing and dealing with (cf. Genesis 1:26; 11:7; 19:24; 35:7; Exodus 15:3; 23:20-21; 24:10; Deuteronomy 4:7; Joshua 22:22; 24:19; 2 Samuel 7:23; Psalm 50:1; Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14). These passages posed great difficulties for the rabbis who wanted to insist upon and impose a very strict unitarian conception of God, in order to combat those whom they deemed to be heretics for believing that there were two coequal Divine Powers in heaven. For the details on how and why these specific texts proved quite damaging to the rabbinic case we highly recommend Segal’s book since it is the standard work on this issue.(1)

Or maybe Zaatari is thinking of 1 Enoch and 4 Ezra, books written during the time of Christ by authors who believed that the Messiah is the Divine preexistent Son of Man of Daniel 7:13-14? Is he referring to these Jews?

Zaatari must have forgotten that in one of my rebuttals to him (*), I had already provided quotes from both 1 Enoch and 4 Ezra to show that there were many Jews that believed in a Divine preexistent Messiah. I even sourced the comments of noted Biblical scholar John J. Collins who made the following points concerning the implication these specific texts have on our understanding of some of the views that Jews held regarding the Messiah:

"… The two earliest Jewish interpretations of Daniel 7 are found in the Similitudes of Enoch and 4 Ezra 13. Both these passages assume that Daniel's ‘one like a son of man’ is an individual, and both use the term ‘messiah’ with reference to him. In both these documents, the Son of Man figure is pre-existent, and therefore transcendent in some sense…" (Collins, The Scepter and the Star--The Messiahs of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Other Ancient Literature [Doubleday: 1995], Chapter 8. The Danielic Son of Man, p. 167; underline emphasis ours)

And:

"The figure of the Son of Man in the Similitudes shows considerable development over against Daniel's ‘one like a son of man.’ In later, rabbinic, tradition the name of the messiah is listed among the things that preceded the creation of the world. The Son of Man is equated with the messiah in 1 Enoch 48:10 and 52:4. While the title messiah plays a minor role in the Similitudes, it is all the more significant that the identification of messiah and Son of Man can be assumed. Daniel's ‘one like a son of man’ appears after the judgment of the beasts/kingdoms. In the Similitudes he is said to cast down kings from their thrones and from their kingdoms, and he takes his seat on his throne of glory as judge (62:5; 69:29). He also has the role of revealer. In many respects he seems to be assimilated to the Deity (who also sits on the throne of his glory). In 48:5, people fall down and worship him." (Ibid., p. 181; bold and underline emphasis ours)

Finally,

"While they are not primarily a work of interpretation, however, the Similitudes remain an important witness to the early understanding of Daniel. They take for granted that Daniel's ‘one like a son of man’ is a heavenly individual of very exalted status. While they offer no reason to think that this figure was known independently of Daniel, they show how the Danielic text inspired visions of a heavenly savior figure in first century Judaism." (Ibid., p. 182; bold and underline emphasis ours)

Collins further wrote that the image of the Messiah presented by Enoch and Ezra is that of,

"… a preexistent, transcendent figure, whom the Most High has been keeping for many ages." (Ibid., p. 186)

I also cited Jewish scholar Jacob Neusner who wrote that some earlier versions of Judaism held to the belief that the Messiah was actually a God-man!

"… We focus upon how the system laid out in the Mishnah takes up and disposes of those critical issues of teleology worked out through messianic eschatology in other, earlier versions of Judaism. These earlier systems resorted to the myth of the Messiah as savior and redeemer of Israel, a supernatural figure engaged in political-historical tasks as king of the Jews, even a God-man facing the crucial historical questions of Israel's life and resolving them: the Christ as king of the world, of the ages, of death itself…" (Judaisms and Their Messiahs at the Turn of the Christian Era, edited by Jacob Neusner, William Scott Green & Ernest S. Frerichs [Cambridge University Press, 1987], Chapter 12. Mishnah and Messiah, p. 275; bold and underline emphasis ours)

As if this weren’t enough, I even wrote an article concerning the Qumran community’s view of Melchizedek to further prove that some (many/most?) Jews believed that there was actually more than one Divine Person who reigned in heaven (*).

What all of the preceding quotations and links demonstrate is that there were Jews who could discern from their very own Scriptures that the Messiah was more than a mere human figure, more than a supernaturally empowered and Spirit-filled human agent of God. These sources prove that certain Jews could see that the Messiah was a suprahuman heavenly Being, One who was both identical with and distinct from God, a God-man who was capable of performing the very functions which the OT plainly says that Yahweh would perform. This further shows that there were Jews who did not embrace unitarianism, but believed that God’s Being was much more complex than to be limited to a single Person or consciousness.

Thus, all of this proves that the teaching of the NT concerning the heavenly prehuman existence and Divinity of Jesus is perfectly consistent with not just what the Hebrew Scriptures teach concerning the complex nature of God and the Messiah, but also with certain widely held Jewish beliefs that were in circulation during the time of Christ.  

We now come to the conclusion of this part of the rebuttal. Lord Jesus willing, I will be addressing the rest of Zaatari’s points, as well as thoroughly refuting his series of unsuccessful attempts (*) of actually providing a meaningful reply to my six main objections that I raised against Muhammad which conclusively prove that he was a false prophet (*). So stay tuned.


 

Endnotes

(1) To see why some of the rabbis had a difficult time with specific OT passages we will quote from one of these "problematic" texts:

"As I looked, THRONES were placed and one that was Ancient of Days took his seat; his raiment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames, its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and came forth from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened." Daniel 7:9-10

Daniel speaks of thrones in the plural, one of which God sat on who is described here as the Ancient of the Days. According to certain rabbis the other throne was for the Davidic Messiah, called David in the rabbinic literature. Yet other rabbis could see the problem this created for their position since this meant that the Messiah sat enthroned alongside God in heaven, and was therefore a second Power or Divinity besides God. As Segal explains:

"One passage says: His throne was fiery flames (Dan. 7:9) and another says: and thrones were placed; and One that was ancient of days did sit–there is no contradiction; One (throne) for Him and one for David: this is the view of R. Akiba. Said R. Yosi the Galilean to him: Akiba, how long will you treat the divine presence as profane! Rather, one for justice and one for grace. Did he accept (this explanation) from him, or did he not accept it?–come and hear: One for justice and one for grace; this is the view of R. Akiba.21

These two rabbis were perplexed by the seeming contradiction in the verses. In one place, more than one throne is indicated by the plural form of the noun. In another place "His (God’s) throne was fiery flames" implies only one throne. Does this mean that the ‘son of man’ in the next verse was enthroned next to God? Rabbi Akiba (110-135 C.E.) affirms the possibility, stating that the other throne was for David. Akiba must be identifying the ‘son of man’ with the Davidic messiah. Nor was R. Akiba alone in the rabbinic movement in identifying the figure in heaven as the messiah. There is some evidence that Judaism contained other traditions linking these verses in Daniel with the messiah." (Segal, Part Two. The Early Rabbinic Evidence, Chapter Two. Conflicting Appearances of God, pp. 47-48. underline)

21. b. Hag. 14a Tr. Epstein. Cf. also b. Sanhedrin 38a where other rabbis are said to oppose R. Akiba… (Ibid., p. 47)

And:

"… R. Hiyya b. Abba answers in Aramaic, rather than in Hebrew, that if a heretic says that there are ‘two gods’ based on Dan. 7:9f., one is to remind him that God stated that He is the same at the Sea and at Sina…" (Ibid., p. 42; underline emphasis ours)

That the interpretation of the rabbis concerning the plural thrones referring to God’s attributes of justice and mercy/grace is purely fanciful can be easily proven from the very context of Daniel 7 since the prophet goes on to refer to another Divine Being who approaches the Ancient of Days, One who reigns forever:

"I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a Son of Man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should worship him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed." Daniel 7:13-14

It is obvious that Daniel is seeing here a fully Divine Person who is appearing as a human being since this figure will be worshiped by all creation and rules forever, just like the Ancient of Days himself:

"As I looked, this horn made war with the saints, and prevailed over them, until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints received the kingdom… And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him." Daniel 7:21-22, 27

This, therefore, proves that one of the thrones was set in place for the Son of Man to sit on as he reigns over the entire creation. And according to the testimony of Jesus himself, he is that very Son of Man that Daniel saw:

"Again the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?’ And Jesus said, ‘I am; and you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.’ Mark 14:61b-62

Hence, according to the inspired NT teaching Christ is the so-called second Power in heaven who, although personally distinct from God the Father, is the fully Divine Son of Man who reigns forever and shall be worshiped by every creature!