In St. Paul’s third heaven, it states that “Specifically, it has been suggested that he may be envisioning the first heaven as the “atmospheric” heaven inhabited by the birds”. The “Second heaven as the “celestial” heaven inhabited by the stars.” And, “The third heaven would then be the “Empyrean” heaven or dwelling place of God.” The meaning of the seventh heaven is- “(especially in Islam and the cabala) the highest heaven, where God and the most exalted angels dwell.” If so, when he speaks of being caught up to the third heaven, he simply means being caught up to the presence of God, and the passage does not indicate that there are multiple spiritual realms in heaven. The core insight behind the depictions of multilayered heavens is that heaven is not a single state in which all saints and angels are equal and all people receive the same reward. It’s more complex than that. The same insight is behind the way that the rewards of the saints have been depicted historically.

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