4. In proportion as the spiritual sense of humankind has become developed, the veil of materiality has become less opaque, and human beings have become better fitted to understand spiritual things; but this change has only taken place very gradually. At the time when Jesus came among them, it was possible for him to proclaim a merciful God, to speak of his “kingdom” as not being “of this world,” to say to men and women, “Love one another,” and “Return good for evil;” whereas, under the Mosaic Law, God was represented as sanctioning the principle of revenge summed up in the dictum, “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”
What, then, was the state of the souls who were living upon the Earth at the time of Jesus? Were they souls who had been newly created and were then incarnated for the first time? If so, God must have created in the time of Jesus, souls of better quality than those that God created in the time of Moses. But, if that were the case, what has become of those earlier-created souls? Have they been condemned to languish forever in the brutishness of the primitive era? Simple common sense suffices to show us that such a supposition is untenable. No; the souls incarnated upon the Earth, in the time of Jesus, were the same souls who, after having lived here under the empire of the Law of Moses, had gradually acquired, in successive existences posterior to that period, a degree of development sufficient to enable them to understand a teaching of a higher nature, and who, at the present day, are sufficiently advanced to be able to receive the still higher teaching now being given by Christ’s command, in fulfillment of his promise.