If the Greek word "baptizo" had rightfully been translated, instead of just being transliterated there might not be such confusion surrounding "baptism" today. Strongs Gr. 907 "'βαπτίζω" meaning to dip under, to submerge, or immerse. The KJV had a political problem on their hands during the 17th century AD as the practice of sprinkling had replaced the practice of immersion and the King had not been immersed. So their fear of the king's reaction caused them to misstep and they incorporated the Greek word into the English translation. It means to be immersed. See Biblehub
The next issue is the misunderstanding of "type" or "kind" of baptism / immersion. John was immersing those who came to him at the river Jordan for repentance and preparation for the coming Messiah. John's father, Zechariah was the High Priest at the time of his and Jesus' conception. Zechariah was burning incense at the altar of incense when Gabriel appeared to him (Luke 1:9-20). The people outside the temple were very worried when Zecharia did not reappear for some time because if the High Priest had not done everything exactly according to the law he would be killed in the Holy of Holies. See articles here and here.
Therefore, Zecharia's son John through his mother's lineage to Aaron (Luke 1:5) was the last true Levitical High Priest, and the only one who could anoint the Messiah transferring the Levitcal priesthood to that of the order of Melchizedek (Heb. 7:11-12) under Christ Yeshua.
"11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?
12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law." (KJV)
So, John's form of baptism was water immersion for a time period that was preparing people for the next age under the new covenant of the gospel of Christ.
The scribes and Pharisees came to observe what he was doing at the river so that they could report back to the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem, and John told them in Matt. 3:7-12,
"7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." (KJV)
In the context of this setting, the scribes and Pharisees were not seeking repentance, and were not being immersed in the river. John was speaking directly to them. This was not a generic statement that would apply to all people of all time.
John called them for what they were - a generation of vipers. John was not speaking to them of salvation, but was prophesying their doom. John's actions of immersion were compared to the action of judgment from God - wrath to come. The warning that Christ was going to immerse them in the Holy Spirit with fire and would purge his threshing floor; the warning that the axe was already at the root of the tree was the immersion into their destruction.
They were immersed into God's fiery judgment at the destruction of that temple in Jerusalem in AD 70. God's fury is fire (Lam. 2:4). The use of the word fire in prophesy was always a judgment action for the wicked. It was metaphorical, sometimes carried out literally in that judgment (Sodom & Gomorrah), and sometimes carried out as a destructive army flooding over the land (Jer. 46:7-8). But, it was always expressed as the fire of God's fury.
So being baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire was a pronouncement of judgment, not of their salvation, and is not to be misconstrued as a new type of baptism for salvation. Matt. 3:7-12 is being misapplied by many today.
And, then we have the involvement of the Spirit in the baptisms in Acts, where the promise from Joel was fulfilled of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. By carefully reviewing Paul's interaction with the men of Ephesus in Acts 19 we can see a distinction.
"4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied." (KJV)
Paul baptized them, and then he laid his hands upon them. The gift of the Holy Spirit was not an automatic result of the water baptism / immersion. The apostle had to lay his hands upon them to give that Holy Spirit gift. These spiritual gifts were for a time period during the first century AD (Acts 2:38-39)
"... For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, ... (KJV)
so that the people could have affirmation from God that what they were hearing was truly God's word, authorized by Him for the changes in the Law. They did not have the written texts of the NT scriptures. They had to have confirmation, and the miracles were always used to confirm the word (Acts 2:22).
We can also see that the gift of the Spirit was not available to Simon, who wanted to purchase it for his profit (Acts 8:9-22). Paul told Timothy to be careful to "lay hands suddenly on no man" (1 Tim 5:22), meaning he was to check with the Spirit to see who would be worthy of the gift. All of the miraculous gifts ceased in that generation -the end of the Jewish age under the law of Moses - which was completed at the destruction of Jerusalem.
Do we really see these miraculous gifts today of healing, speaking in foreign languages, etc? Then we have to acknowledge that the pouring out of the Holy Spirit of Joel's prophesy (Joel 2:28-29) was finished when that which was perfect / complete was made available - the written word, the books of the NT.
The command is still the same (Mark 16:16). When we are baptized into Christ, we are being put into the assembly of Christ of the one and only faith, the one and only Spirit, and the one and only baptism.
"For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." (KJV)
Water baptism / immersion is the command. It has not changed, it has only been misunderstood. We have the Spirit through the study and knowledge of the word of God. Being of the same mind, being of the same body we become "one" with Christ and our Father in heaven (Phil. 1:27).
More on baptism at my blog: ShreddingTheVeil