There are different types of speaking in tongues based on the angle with which you look at the gift. The gift of speaking in tongues is the ability to speak in human and heavenly languages that are unknown to you. This ability is given by the Holy Spirit.
Note that speaking in tongues is a gift given only by the Spirit of God. You have to put this into consideration because a lot gets said about speaking in tongues and sometimes they exclude the fact that it is given by the Holy Spirit.
People who imitate speaking in tongues do not get the power of the Holy Spirit that comes with the genuine gift.
I have the gift of speaking in tongues and all I say here is from experience. I know there are many people out there who attempt to define speaking in tongues but I advocate that you only listen to those who speak from experience.
Why would you listen to an unbeliever telling you about the gift of the Holy Spirit? What does he know?
Even believers who don’t speak in tongues have no say about the gift of speaking in tongues.
Since I began speaking in tongues, I have realized that there is a lot of wrong information out there about this gift. This is because some of the people talking about the gift have never experienced it.
Yes, they may have read it from the Bible but still, experiencing the gift is superior to merely hearing about it from the Bible.
When you experience the gift of speaking in tongues, you understand what the Bible says about it better.
Types of Speaking in Tongues
The following are the five types of speaking in tongues I found in the Bible.
First Type of Speaking in Tongues: Human Tongues
Apostle Paul wrote that even if he was able to speak in tongues of angels and men but didn’t have love he would be nothing more than a resounding gong.
From his statement, we can see that there are tongues of men. From popular belief, tongues of men are the common languages that we speak.
This is further proven from the incidence of the day of Pentecost; people who were outside the upper room heard the disciples of Jesus praising God in their language.
I once heard from a friend a testimony of a woman who went on a mission to preach the gospel of Jesus. She didn’t know the language of the locals but when she got there, she was able to speak their language fluently.
I heard another testimony of a foreign woman who attended a church service. In the middle of the service, she felt compelled to speak in tongues.
As she blasted out in tongues, a woman in the church began crying. What the foreign woman didn’t know was that the tongues she was speaking was actually a local language that the woman who was crying was able to understand.
I have witnessed this other testimony in the church I was attending; a Yoruba pastor from Nigeria had come to preach. This happened in Kenya where we primarily speak English, Swahili and other local languages.
When the Yoruba pastor was done speaking, a certain girl, under the influence of the Holy Spirit spoke to the Yoruba Pastor in Yoruba.
The Pastor was the only one in the entire church who could understand Yoruba. It was a marvel that a girl who didn’t know Yoruba could speak it so fluently.
Of course the Pastor knew it was God speaking to him.
This goes to confirm that the Holy Spirit can enable us to speak any human language. Speaking in tongues involves speaking human languages but it is not limited to human languages.
Second Type of Speaking in Tongues: Tongues of Angels
Angels have their own language. I can’t definitively prove that there are many heavenly languages but I believe so because there are many human languages and the physical is a shadow of the spiritual.
Either way, Apostle Paul mentioned tongues of angels. Speaking in tongues can also manifest in form of tongues of angels.
This makes sense when you consider that angels are our servants. When we wage spiritual battles, it is the angels that do the fighting. We basically give instructions of what we want them to do.
By speaking in tongues, we speak in a language that angels understand. This does not mean that angels cannot understand human languages.
When we wage spiritual war by speaking in tongues, angels can understand what we say but demons can’t which gives the angels an advantage and of course easier victory for us.
I have witnessed a young man cast out demons by speaking in tongues. I believe those were the tongues of angels.
Third Type of Speaking in Tongues: Tongues Spoken to God
The other type of speaking in tongues is those tongues spoken to God. Those types of tongues are the ones the Bible refers to as ‘groans that are too deep for words’ in which the Holy Spirit intercedes for us.
The Bible tells us concerning those tongues that ‘Whoever speaks in tongues speaks to God and no man understands him’.
Speaking in tongues during worship or personal prayer time is mainly tongues spoken to God. I believe they are different from tongues of angels given the fact that they are spoken to God and they are for a different purpose.
These are the tongues that edify us. I have explained in a previous article how edification from speaking in tongues works.
The groans made in the spirit, singing in tongues and all other dialects of speaking in tongues that cannot be understood are usually tongues spoken to God.
God does this to preserve privacy with the person speaking in tongues. I do interpret tongues but tongues spoken to God are the hardest to interpret.
Usually, I can tell the general message of the tongues but I can’t pinpoint what the tongues are about. Other times, I have no idea what someone is saying to God.
Fourth Type of Speaking in Tongues: Tongues from God
God sometimes speaks messages audibly. In most cases, these messages come in form of tongues. These are the tongues that need interpretation.
Usually, the tongues that God speaks are prophecy. That is why the Bible demands that such tongues be interpreted and that people should speak one at a time.
This is also why Apostle Paul was comparing speaking in tongues to prophecy in 1st Corinthians 14. How do I know this? Because I have interpreted several of this type of tongues.
Tongues from God are easy to interpret. In fact, even believers who typically assume they can’t interpret tongues can easily interpret them.
I don’t know what God does to them, but they are easy to understand. I believe they are easy to interpret because God is a great orator.
I gained experience in interpreting tongues primarily by interpreting tongues spoken by God.
Fifth Type of Speaking in Tongues: Written Tongues
In the same way human languages can be spoken and written, speaking in tongues can be written. I have seen written tongues and I have interpreted a few of them.
I have written tongues myself once. Written tongues don’t have a specific structure. They are just like spoken tongues; they take any form.
In the Bible, written tongues occurred during the handwriting on the wall. What language was written on the wall? We are not told but instead we are told that Daniel, who had the Spirit of God, was the only one who could interpret.
And according to his interpretation, the Kingdom of Babylon was overthrown by the Persians.
Types of Speaking in Tongues: Conclusion
As you can see, there are many types of speaking in tongues. It is a mystery. The best way to learn about the gift of speaking in tongues is through experience.
I know a lot about this gift because I have witnessed and been involved in a lot of things that concern this gift of speaking in tongues. Who could have taught me all these if not God himself?
Seek to have this gift. It is God’s gift to us in this age. Let those who disregard it disregard it to their own peril.