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Prayer In the Spirit - Just What Are "Other Tongues"?

Updated on July 28, 2016

As Simple as This

Tongues are a supernatural manifestation given by God to EVERYONE who is filled with the Holy Spirit. (Don't start screaming just yet...). I did not say that everyone who is filled with the Holy Spirit actively speaks in tongues or that they have ever spoken in tongues. I said that tongues are given to everyone who receives the HolySpirit.

Whew.. that was close. Listen, understanding the things of God doesn't have to be difficult if we would simply take Him at His a little child.

"Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by *no means enter it." Luke 18:17

*(This doesn't mean you won't go to heaven, this means you will not have accurate understanding of how the kingdom of God operates...subject for another hub)

Jesus Keeps His Promises


The Promise Fulled

The fact of the matter is that on the day Pentecost there were about 120 present in the upper room; men women and who knows perhaps children. When suddenly....the Holy Spirit came and filled all those people who were waiting for Him. And, they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, "which," He said, "you have heard from Me; For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. Acts 1:4-5

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey. And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James.These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication,* with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. Acts 1:13-14

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord* in one place.Acts 2:1

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:4

All 120 people in the upper room were filled with the Holy Ghost [Holy Spirit] and all 120 of them began to speak with other tongues. This is clear if you read both chapters 1 and 2 of the book of Acts as if they were a continuation of one another. So,often we think the events of the Bible happened within the confines of the chapter and verse organization that we place them in. But, we have to remember that the Bible was only written in chapter and verse for our ease of use.


Two Basic Categories of Tongues

Yes, there are two basic functions of Tongues. And I don't mean, "the tongues of men, and the tongues of angels" found in 1 Corinthians 13:1.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 1 Corinthians 13:1

(The tongues of men and the tongues of angels represent "types of tongues" not categories of tongues.)

The fist category of tongues is "tongues as our prayer language". These tongues are defined as such by me because these are the tongues received at the infilling of the Holy Ghost. We use these tongues in prayer and worship and we use then with the ease of using our natural speech.

These tongues are used by us to minister to God. They traveling from us to God...remember that.

The second category of tongues is "divers kinds of tongues". These tongues are defined as such in 1 Corinthians 12. They are listed with and are one of the "Gifts of the Spirit". There are the tongues that operate only as the Holy Spirit wants them too.

These tongues are used by God to minister to us.... get it. God speaks through man, but these tongues travel from God to us.

Decent and In Order

This is where we get messed up, and this is where we need clarification. Remember, the bible was not originally organized in chapter and verse, so we must not limit our understanding to chapter headings and numbered verses. We must read it as a continuous thought.

The confusion with tongues is caused by the devil first of all because he knows what actively praying in tongues can do for us and for others; and, secondly because we attribute the characteristics or rules for our prayer language to the gift of divers kinds of tongues and vice- versa. This is why we have questions like: Can you speak in tongues if there is no interpretation? Does everyone have to speak in tongues? Can you speak in tongues in the church? And, so on, and so on....

I Will Pray With the Spirit and I Will Sing With the Spirit

Prayer Language

The video to the right is lengthy, but it gives an example of the use of tongues as a prayer language. I chose Benny Hinn because he has some credibility for longevity. Whether you like him or not is not the issue. Just forget about that right now and try and see the purpose of the video.

In the beginning, you hear him praying in tongues. While he is doing so, the camera pans to the audience and you see others who are also praying in tongues. There is no interpreter because there is no isolated message coming from God to the people.

This is no different than any of us standing in a group and praising God in our native language. Everyone is not saying the same thing, but everyone is talking to God. Again, because there is no specific message coming from God, there is no need for an interpreter.

As the Spirit Wills- Tongues and the Interpretation of Tongues

Tongues Operating As The Gift

This next video shows an example of the Gift of Divers Kinds of Tongues or the Gift of Tongues with the companion Gift of the Interpretation of Tongues.i chose it because it is at Jimmy Swaggerts church. And again, that is a name most folks are familiar with, whether you like him or not, please just be open.

The Gift of Tongues is operating through a women in the congregation. You will notice the difference in the intensity of the tongues, they are more robust and powerful than those in the previous video. This is because it is God speaking through this vessel. You will also notice the atmosphere is quiet while the tongues are being spoken. Again, this is because the Spirit of God is using this vessel to minister to the people.

Notice the woman was not miked but her voice was clear and distinct throughout the building. She does not appear to be yelling or even exerting any excessive pressure which would cause her to be heard.

The same is true of the gentleman through whom God is giving the interpretation. We are not even sure where he is or who he is. We presume that he is the one the camera pans to after the message is completed.

I Got It!
I Got It! | Source


It was with regard to the Gift of Divers Kinds of Tongues that Paul was referring when he said,

But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God. 1Corinthians 14:28

He was not talking about tongues as your prayer language. We have to be clear. 1 Corinthians chapters 12, 13, and 14 all talk about the two categories of tongues; their proper use, motivation and order.

  • Chapter 12 identifies them,
  • Chapter 13 talks of their motivation, and
  • Chapter 14 talks about their orderly use in the church.

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Next Hub in This Series...

Next in the series: Prayer in The Spirit (part 3) - What is the Purpose of Tongues?


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    • LeslieAdrienne profile imageAUTHOR

      Leslie A. Shields 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      I love you hoowantstono! We have got to stick together....

    • HOOWANTSTONO profile image


      9 years ago


      We are on the same page, no additional gift.

    • LeslieAdrienne profile imageAUTHOR

      Leslie A. Shields 

      9 years ago from Georgia


      You acknowledge that there are three and [i]only[/i] three utterance gifts listed in the Gifts of the Spirit. So why is it that you insist upon naming an additional gift?

      Often the result of a Divers Tongue and its Interpretation is prophesy. Prophesy in the New Testament is defined as inspired utterance; it can reveal the plan and purpose of God; it can function as a Word of Knowledge and or a Word of Wisdom;

      Divers Tongues covers [b]all[/b] Tongues. The Word classifies them as the Tongues of Men and the Tongues of Angels.(1Cor 13)... no more and nor less.

      The Tongues of men are a supernatural endowment to speak a known language on the earth. It is known to the hearer but not known to the speaker. This is what happened in Acts 2:4-12. This is also what advanced world evangelism at the turn of the 20th Century.

      People would receive languages of other nations and consider that the call of God to go to the land where the people spoke that language. They would then evangelize and plant churches.

      The Tongues of Angels cover everything else. They are exactly what they say they are... non-human Tongues, Tongues that [b]no[/b] man can understand.

      When we pray in the other Tongues our spirit prays, our understanding is unfruitful.

      We are the servants of God, it is our responsibility to flow within the parameters of the Word of God. We cannot make up names to describe experiences we have had and then act like it is doctrine. This is classic error.

      Saying "prosephieth" tongues is the same as saying, deliverance tongues, worship tongues, healing tongues, or any other kind of tongue that may have preceded a spiritual experience.

      In the past I would classify a certain sound of Tongues as "Deliverance Tongues". Like you, I did that because it seemed that as a result of those Tongues, people would get deliverance... I labeled the Tongues as a result of the experience.

      First rule in the study of the Word... just what it says is what it is... I was told of my error and I listened. I wish you would listen also...

    • LeslieAdrienne profile imageAUTHOR

      Leslie A. Shields 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks Bro Yo,

      As always, I appreciate your comments

    • HOOWANTSTONO profile image


      9 years ago


      Just to get back to your previous reply to me.

      "There are only 3 gifts of utterance listed in the Word.

      Divers Kinds of Tongues

      The Interpretation of Tongues


      You are correct on the three utterances, yet the sound of the "prophesieth" tongue also sounds like the tongue of angels also said as "unknown" tongue also praying in the "Holy Spirit" as some put it, sounds like "gibberish" Hence why it is called upon to "interpret", where interpret is also the Holy Spirit gift that reveals what the Holy Spirit is saying during the "prophesied...prophesieth" occasion.

      "1Cr 14:5 I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying."

      Thats why I say there are three Tongues.

      1)prophesied...prophesieth Tongue needs interpretation

      2)Tongue of Ange "unknown" as Praying in the Holy Spirit

      3)Divers Tongue which is a human language

      The operation of each is different

      1)prophesied...prophesieth edification of the Church

      2)Tongue of Angels self edification to build one up

      3)Divers Tongue a person may communicate in a foreign language for edification of a person that is not from the area and speaks a different tongue like a Chinese in Greece.

      I have witnessed this before many times.


    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Prophecy is not a tongue. Prophecy is a separate gift. In the church today, word of wisdom and exhortation are most common. The OT prophets prophesied, we do not operate in that same way, but by word of wisdom; and, the word of exhortation - which is most often confused with prophetic statement, but it is not prophetic at all - but used to edify the people in the church. Prophesy foretells the future in all OT cases.

      Divers tongues was included by Paul, defined: means many; because the jews figured the angelic language of heaven is hebrew. I have never heard anyone who has a hebrew HG tongue, in fact, all tongues vary greatly from person to person. No two are alike i reckon. If tongues were an earthly language then some race would be speaking it naturally.

      1 Corinthians 12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

      this is why divers and interpretation follow one another. The divers tongues is the tongues of the Holy Ghost and in the church it needs an interpretation.

      just my take on it. Good to hear this being talked about.

    • LeslieAdrienne profile imageAUTHOR

      Leslie A. Shields 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks Dr. Pastor,

      I appreciate your comments....

      Bless You

    • drpastorcarlotta profile image

      Pastor Dr Carlotta Boles 

      9 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

      WOW, what a discussion. I like your Hub! Thank you! Voted-Up! God Bless you!

    • LeslieAdrienne profile imageAUTHOR

      Leslie A. Shields 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      I forgot the scripture reference:

      (1 Cor 12:10)

      To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another [divers] kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: (King James)

      to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. (New King James)

    • LeslieAdrienne profile imageAUTHOR

      Leslie A. Shields 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      O.K..... now I see where the confusion is... It sure is good to talk things through...

      What you are calling a "prophesieth" tongue is what the Bible calls a "divers kind of tongue". The resulting message is a "prophesy". That is probably why you are using the term "prophesieth" tongue.

      There are only 3 gifts of utterance listed in the Word.

      Divers Kinds of Tongues

      The Interpretation of Tongues


      The combination of Divers Kinds of Tongues and The Interpretation of Tongues is equivalent to Prophesy.

      Now, I see where you are coming from. I love you.

      If you haven't done so, check out Kenneth Hagin's book entitled "The Holy Spirit and His Gifts" it is wonderful

    • HOOWANTSTONO profile image


      9 years ago

      Sorry I am not trying to confuse you, but through my experience, I will attempt to align what I have seen and participated in with what is explained in Gods word.

      Example. A person in the fellowship during praise and worship gets moved by the Holy Spirit and during this time the waiting on the Holy Spirit he begins to speak in the "unknown" also called "prophesieth" tongue where he is standing, taking into consideration that everyone is quiet at this point, once he has stopped speaking, someone else that has the gift of interpretation will get given the understanding of what was spoken, and this person would come forward and tell the fellowship what the Holy Spirit was saying called "interpret".

      1Cr 14:5 I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.

      1Cr 14:6 Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?

      1Cr 14:13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.

      prophesieth....prophesied "except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying."

      I hope this answered the question


    • LeslieAdrienne profile imageAUTHOR

      Leslie A. Shields 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      OK Woo...

      Now you are confusing me... prophecy is always given in a known language. Paul is clear that when prophesy is spoken it is know by all and it convinces and convicts. How is this possible if the prophecy needs an interpretation to be understood?

      ICor 14:24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all.

      Can you give me an example?

    • HOOWANTSTONO profile image


      9 years ago

      It is a third if its in a "Prophecy" and needs its not a divers tongue and its not praying in the spirit......yet it is the Holy Spirit uttering the "Prophecy".....

      The reason I am saying a third is because of its operation its a spiritual interpretation of the uttering...

    • LeslieAdrienne profile imageAUTHOR

      Leslie A. Shields 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      My issue with your initial comment is your introduction of a "Third Tongue". As a believer, we must always be aware of what we are saying... just a in 1 Corinthians 14- You never know who may misunderstand what you are talking about. An unlearned person or a non-believer could become confused easily.

      You know what you mean, but others only know what you said. We have a mandate to not cause others to stumble. The people, believers and non-believers alike are most important to the Father. Jesus precious blood was shed not for the sake of debate, but for the deliverance of mankind.

      The Gifts of the Spirit, Tongues, who God uses and how He uses them pales in comparison to the issue of salvation.

      And, we cannot judge anything after the flesh. ex. Someone gives a Word to a person that exposes their error and admonishes them to "get it together". Well, to the hearer that may not seem like edification; it may seem like embarrassment. But, that word was the very thing which caused them to change the direction of their life which further caused them to escape the traps of the enemy. Didn't feel good to them, but it was good for them.

      [1 Cor. 14:24-...he is convinced of all, he is convicted of all].

      I am saying that to say as Believers, we cannot randomly judge or categorize any supernatural manifestation through the use of our flesh. We have to try the spirit by the spirit [1 Jhn 4:4]; and stick to the Word... Say what it says...

    • HOOWANTSTONO profile image


      9 years ago

      No new categories are added its simply the operation of the Holy Spirit as expressed by Paul, there are numerous verses that express the differences, but then some will accept it and some wont, it does not change the foundation on which God moves but compliments the truth and harmonizes with the operation and thus we should know if it is from God or not by the "Edification" and if it glorifies God or man. Although the "unknown" tongue is purposed by God for edification of the believer by praying in the "Spirit" which is not the same as praying with understand.

      Paul does clearly describe the difference between praying in the Spirit and with understanding.

    • LeslieAdrienne profile imageAUTHOR

      Leslie A. Shields 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for your comment... We must be mindful not to add to the Word based on our personal experiences

      Any inspired utterance is considered prophesy. However, we by experience consider prophesy to be a forth-telling of future events. In actually the forth-telling of things in the future or the revealing of things from the past are manifestations of the Gift of Knowledge and the Gift of the Word of Wisdom spoken through the vehicle of prophesy.

      The combination of Divers Kinds of Tongues and the Interpretation of Tongues is considered prophesy. Perhaps this is what you are saying when you say there is a third tongue.

      And, what is Prophesy and Interpretation? That is not in the Word. Prophesy by definition is spoken in the language of the speaker and of the hearer. Why would there be a need for interpretation?

      We must stick to the Word and say what it says...

      There are three gifts that are based on inspired utterance: Divers Kinds of Tongues, the Interpretation of Tongues and Prophesy.

      Also, the Interpretation of Tongues is not the translation of tongues. Since the speaker of the Divers Tongue does not understand what he or she is saying.

      Additionally, it is not wisdom for one to try and categorize which tongues are of men and which are of angels. This seemingly innocent practice can lead to debate and too much flesh. And, it really doesn't matter because the speaker is not speaking to men.

      I would be mindful about adding new categories to the Word of God. Finally, many, many people operate in the Gifts of the Spirit. Divers Tongues and the Interpretation along with Prophesy are common manifestations and should not be elevated above any other Word based experiences.

    • HOOWANTSTONO profile image


      9 years ago

      Hi there, I must add that you have the correct understanding concerning tongues, but I must add though that there is a "Third Tongue", this is what it is about...."Prophecy" and interpretation. I have heard and experienced this in the past. Although the person with the gift of prophecy speaks in the tongue of angels (Holy Spirit) while he is giving a prophecy, there is also a person that has the gift of interpreting the tongue. This is also what adds to confusion of the "Tongues issue". I operate with the gift of interpretation of tongues, and this term often is confused with interpreting a human tongue called "divers" tongue (language). Although the tongue of angels sounds like the tongue of prophecy it is for a different reason in operation, yet both applications or operations have the same purpose, and that being "Edification" of the believer. Have a read on my hub on tongues.

      Peace and blessings to you.


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