The Jade Emperor, also known as the Lord of Heaven (T'ien Kung ^^r), is the chief deity of the pantheon of the Cheng I sect of Taoism. He is only a secondary deity of the Taoist Lungmen sect. He was worshipped China-wide as the supreme ruler of the Heavens, and even of some of the Underworld. In folk religion, he is worshipped as the protector of all mankind, having replaced Lao Tzu in that role ... [Show full abstract] and as head of the Taoist faith, possibly because people were uncomfortable taking their problems to a philosopher. According to a majority of Taoists his earthly mouthpiece was Chang T'ien Shih, The Heavenly Master and his descendants. Although he is well known to both Chinese and to interested foreigners, what is not so well known are the ramifications of his family and the extent to which several of its members have their own cults. The development of the supreme deity in China is far from clear. In earlier times the all-seeing, all-powerful, unseen god was Shang Ti (-h^) who even now is occasionally referred to as the all-highest. Not only is the term Shang Ti used by Protestants for the Supreme Deity, God, but also the late Chairman Mao in his statement that, at the age of 72, "he was soon going to see God", used this expression. Howard Smith, a missionary in China for 24 years, describes how the Chou dynasty (ca 1050-256 BC) founded its government on religion and transformed 'Shang Ti', probably originally a term used for the deified spirits of the imperial ancestors under the previous dynasty, the Shang, into a high God, independent and supreme, He added "The importance of this change cannot be over-emphasised. When this supreme deity finds the rule of an emperor abhorent, whenever a king fails, by persistent misrule, in his duties to God, then God rejects him and seeks out a suitable substitute.' 1 The transfer of the mandate of Heaven, based on the belief in a supreme deity, carried with it strong.ethical implications, and continued down to the last dynasty, which fell in 1911.