Q. Was Balaam a false prophet … or a prophet going the route of rebellion?
A. From just reading Numbers 22-24 it appears Balaam only did what the Lord told him to do and only said what the Lord told him to say. But in Numbers 31:15 we learn that it was Balaam who advised the Midianites to have their women seduce the Israelite soldiers in an effort to force God to withdraw his favor from Israel. What Balaam could not accomplish through prophecy, he then tried to accomplish through treachery, because when push came to shove it appears he didn’t want to forego the large payment the King promised him for helping them defeat the Israelites.
Balaam’s plan didn’t work. In the ensuing battle the Midianites were defeated and the five kings of Midian were killed as was Balaam (Numbers 31:7-8).
In Jude 1:11 the Lord’s brother accused false teachers of “rushing for profit into Balaam’s error”. This is the practice of misusing one’s position of trust by saying things the Lord never intended for personal gain.