Isaiah’s method of prophesying end-time events based on types or patterns from the past provides a safeguard against counterfeits, which inevitably precede and accompany the real thing. False prophets and messiahs, delusive promises of deliverance, spurious “miracles”—all will test people’s faith in God and their knowledge of the facts. The comforting thing about Isaiah’s prophecies is that they are true to the principle of “what has been shall be” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). If something is of God it will follow the patterns of the past; if it isn’t, then informed persons ought to exercise their prerogative to reject it even though a majority of people accept it.
A deep understanding of Isaiah’s prophecy—gained from diligent searching of his words until they are clear—provides the best guide to knowing the true from the false. One can’t disregard this requirement and assume one already knows what there is to know, then still expect to be able to discern between what is of God and what is not in the time of confusion that has been foretold. God allows counterfeits to abound for the express purpose of weeding out those who treat lightly the prophecies they have received (Isaiah 30:28). Many in times past believed they were right in other such situations yet sadly ended up “fighting against God” (Acts 5:39).—Windows on the Prophecy of Isaiah, pp 209–210.