a Jesus Christ used a similar expression, in Matthew 17:11, when he said: “Elijah, indeed, is coming and will restore all things.” This statement had reference to Malachi 4:5, 6. But then Jesus went on to make an application of this prophecy about Elijah to John the Baptist. (Matt. 17:12, 13) John the Baptist also served as the forerunner of Jesus Christ, and for that reason he proclaimed: “The kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.” (Matt. 3:1, 2) But as to modern times, after World War I and since the year 1919 a work like that of Elijah has been carried on by Jehovah’s Christian witnesses. By them a witness to Jehovah’s Messianic kingdom has been given since that time until now such as has never before been given world wide in all previous human history.—Matt. 24:14; Mark 13:10.
Since 1919 C.E. these Christian witnesses of Jehovah discern a spiritual fulfillment toward them of the words of Isaiah 1:25-27: “And I will turn back my hand upon you, and I shall smelt away your scummy dross as with lye, and I will remove all your waste products. And I will bring back again judges for you as at the first, and counselors for you as at the start. After this you will be called City of Righteousness, Faithful Town. With justice Zion herself will be redeemed, and those returning of her, with righteousness.”