Ezekiel had no doubt seen colossal sculptures of winged bulls and lions with human heads standing as guardians in front of palaces and temples. Such statues were found throughout ancient Assyria and Babylonia. Like all onlookers, he must have stared in wonder at these formidable creatures, some standing nearly 20 feet (6 m) tall. Still, no matter how powerful these creatures looked, they were lifeless, carved from stone.
In contrast, the four creatures that Ezekiel saw in vision were “living creatures.” What a striking difference! This sight had such an impact on Ezekiel that he mentioned the words “living creatures” 11 times in the introduction of his prophecy. (Ezek. 1:5-22) The vision of the four living creatures moving in unison below God’s throne must have deeply impressed on Ezekiel that Jehovah is in full control of all creation. Today, the same vision vividly impresses us with the greatness and mightiness of Jehovah and the magnificence of his sovereignty.—1 Chron. 29:11.