“Baptized with the Holy Spirit”

God sent John the Baptist to prepare the people of Israel for the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. John came to bear witness of Jesus that the people might believe in Him. John preached of the nearness of the kingdom of God, and the need to repent of sins in order to avoid the wrath of God which would come just before the establishment of that kingdom. John baptized those who believed and repented indicating their readiness to receive Jesus as their King and to enter His kingdom.
John prepared the people for the ministry of Jesus by comparing it to his own. “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11). Jesus began to baptize people with the Holy Spirit after His earthly ministry, death and resurrection when He ascended back to heaven. Ten days after His ascension, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit upon His disciples who were waiting in Jerusalem for the promised Comforter (John 7:37-39, 14:16-17; Acts 1:4-8, 2:1-4). They received the Holy Spirit that day Who had come to indwell them forever and to empower them as witnesses to Jesus. On that day Jesus also baptized them with the Holy Spirit (Acts 11:15-17, cp. 10:44-48). Everyone who believes in Jesus, on the very day he believes, he receives the Holy Spirit, and is baptized with Him. Paul tells us what baptism with the Holy Spirit is. “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free — and have all been made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13). It is “with” the Holy Spirit that Jesus baptizes or places each believer into the body of Christ, the church, on the very day he or she believes.
John said that Jesus also would baptize with fire which is probably a reference to His judgment or wrath (see Malachi 3:1-5; cp. Mat.3:7,10,11). Fire may also be a reference to the purification from sins that people undergo when they believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior. Some will be purified in the Refiner’s fire and enter God’s kingdom while others will experience the fire of God’s judgment.