Balaam was once a prophet. The Old Testament Scripture reveals he had known Yahweh, speaking on His behalf. He knew the covenant promises of God and was anointed. But he went astray. Knowing that he had a great spiritual gift, he adopted the pagan practices of requiring money before giving oracles.
Speaking about false prophets, 2 Peter 2:15-16 says, “They have forsaken the right way and have gone astray. They follow the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness, but who was rebuked for his iniquity. The mute donkey speaking with a man’s voice constrained the madness of the prophet.”
Balaam’s error is the selling of prophecies, which I call the prostitution of the prophetic. This is when someone starts off hearing the word of the Lord but then begins charging fees, falling into divination (Jude 11; 2 Pet. 2:15-16). It is when dream interpretations are given for a fee and money is mandated in exchange for prophecies, following Balaam’s error. Payment for prophecies is not related to the common practice of ministry offerings.