It can be done, but it won't be easy. Black pipe is built from one end to the other. If you cut it, you need special fittings to insert a section since screwing the pipe into one end would loosen it in the other. Dealing with old pipe is also asking for problems. It could be in great condition, but touch it, and things could start leaking or breaking, too.
The only disadvantage to putting it in the ceiling is if it springs a leak, you may not notice it for awhile. Or, if it crosses the joists - you'd never get it up there.