And already the axe is laid at the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not produce good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire.
I baptize you in water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is stronger than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He Himself will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire,
The word of John spoken here to the Pharisees and Sadducees means that if the Pharisees and Sadducees would truly repent and believe in the Lord, the Lord would baptize them in the Holy Spirit that they might have eternal life; otherwise, the Lord will baptize them in fire, putting them into the lake of fire for eternal punishment. John’s baptism was only for repentance, to usher people to faith in the Lord. The Lord’s baptism is either for eternal life in the Holy Spirit or for eternal perdition in fire. The Lord’s baptism in the Holy Spirit began the kingdom of the heavens, bringing His believers into the kingdom of the heavens, whereas His baptism in fire will terminate the kingdom of the heavens, putting the unbelievers into the lake of fire. Hence, the Lord’s baptism in the Holy Spirit, based upon His redemption, is the beginning of the kingdom of the heavens, whereas His baptism in fire, based upon His judgment, is its ending.
Thus, in verse 11, there are three kinds of baptisms: the baptism in water, the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and the baptism in fire. The baptism in water by John introduced people to the kingdom of the heavens. The baptism in the Holy Spirit by the Lord Jesus began and established the kingdom of the heavens on the day of Pentecost and will carry it on to its consummation at the end of this age. The baptism in fire by the Lord, according to the judgment at the great white throne (Rev. 20:11-15), will conclude the kingdom of the heavens.