Jude warns us to avoid the ways of Cain, Balaam, and Korah that characterize false teachers—greedy, worshipping on one's own terms, appealing to the masses.
Many have wondered why God would allow the oracles of a pagan soothsayer to be included in His Word. Balaam's prophecies are significant to God's purpose.
Balaam, motivated by self-interest, believing that the ends justify the means, willing to do anything to get his way, is spiritually inferior to a donkey.
Balaam illustrates the paradox of someone who knows God's will, but willfully and deliberately disobeys, presumptuously thinking he could manipulate or bribe God.
Blinded by greed, Balaam used whatever mental gymnastics necessary to arrive at the answer he wanted. He turned the grace of God into a license for evil.
Cultural compromise, such as found in Pergamos, brings judgment from Jesus. To those who refuse to compromise their convictions, Christ promises eternal life.
The end-time church is warned against Nicolaitanism, for it exists today. The Scriptures, plus some first century history, reveal who the Nicolaitans are.
The Bible and history are replete with stories of presumptuous hustlers, claiming to represent God and to know His will as a means to gain fortune.