There is a great deal of confusion today about just what this tongue speaking is. Some say it is a prayer language, others say that it is angelic languages, still others say it is the Holy Spirit himself speaking. Which is the correct answer?
As always the place to go to find the answer to a spiritual question is the Bible. God promises us that through His word He will equip us for “every good work” 2 Timothy 3:17. The Bible is a logical book, therefore it makes good sense to go for our answer to the first time that it is described. God, the one who inspired the book, does not need to explain what tongue speaking is every time He mentions it. He has told us the first time just what it is.
In Acts chapter two we read of the Day of Pentecost. We read of when the apostles were baptized with the Holy Spirit, we also read of the first time any one spoke in tongues. It is here in this chapter that we get a full description of what speaking in tongues is.
"And they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Holy Spirit was giving them utterances. Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language.” Acts 2:4-6The Jews gathered we amazed, not because they heard sounds that they could not understand, but rather they heard other languages! If we go on we read, “They were amazed and astonished, saying, ‘Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it we hear them in our own languages to which we were born?’” Acts 2:7-8. The miracle of tongue speaking was that those with the gift could speak in languages they had not learnt, but which could be understood by the hearers!
Many today speak in unintelligible sounds, that no one can understand and call it “speaking in tongues”. They do this with good hearts and good consciences, but what they are performing is not the tongue speaking that the Bible talks about. When people in the Bible are recorded as speaking in tongues, we read of a miracle taking place in which they speak in other languages. Languages that they have not learnt, but which their hearers can understand.