Rev 1:9 I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne.
10 They cried out with a loud voice, "O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"
11 Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.
Rev 12:11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.
9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear:
10 If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.
12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.
13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, "Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Blessed indeed," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!"
The book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ as given to John needs no “decoding”. It is treated as either all in the future or all in the past, (i.e. futurist/preterist, both sides of the proverbial bad penny that keeps turning up).
However, it is the revelation of Christ Himself, His Gospel, and His Kingdom in history from beginning to end. He and his Kingdom were, are, and are always coming. These Truths are the focus of the prophecy which John recorded.
4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who IS and who WAS and who IS TO COME, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne,
5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood
6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
7 Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.
8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."
The Lord’s return is ever imminent; what once was, now is, and will be consummated at His return. We live in the time of both past and present, living now in the Kingdom which has been established, (the same kingdom all the saints from the days of John and all the disciples/apostles live/lived in), looking forward to the Kingdom to come in which we will all dwell forever. Christ reigns now and His reign is everlasting. This is the millennium of Rev 20:6, the last half of the 70th week of Daniel 9:26-27, the time of the end from the establishment of the New Covenant upon His death until His literal return. (Hebrews 9:15-28)
5 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever."
16 And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God,
17 saying, "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who IS and who WAS, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign.
5 And I heard the angel in charge of the waters say, "Just are you, O Holy One, who IS and who WAS, for you brought these judgments.
6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink. It is what they deserve!"
7 And I heard the altar saying, "Yes, Lord God the Almighty, true and just are your judgments!"
John is our brother and partner in tribulation then and now. God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. The saints are those who share in the first resurrection which is Christ’s resurrection. (Romans 5:9-10; 6:3-5; John 3:1-8; Rev 20:)
Blessed and holy are they!